Religious Freedom Remains a Key Issue for Evangelicals Who Supported President Trump
Author Stephen E. Strang Writes in New Book, ‘God and Donald Trump,’ That Influential Evangelical Leaders Implored Christians to Pray About the 2016 Election and Know What Was at Stake—It Worked
ORLANDO, Fla.—On Dec. 5, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple based on his freedom of religion and free speech rights, Fox News recently reported. The case is expected to be one of the landmark decisions of 2018.
What does a cake have to do with the freedoms of millions of American Christians? Everything.
And one SCOTUS justice appointed by President Donald Trump—Neil Gorsuch—may make all the difference in the ruling.
In his new book, “God and Donald Trump,” award-winning journalist and author Stephen E. Strang highlights the influential Evangelical leaders who implored Christians across the nation to educate themselves about what was at stake in the 2016 election, including the crucial issues of religious liberty and Supreme Court appointments. Christians mobilized, prayed and fasted, and Americans elected a new leader that shocked many but, to others, gave the nation a necessary reprieve.
In “God and Donald Trump,” Strang interviews and cites many Evangelical leaders about why they supported the brash billionaire and the urgency they saw in getting Trump elected.
- In his new book, out on Nov. 7, Strang interviews Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International and the Reformation Prayer Network, who mobilized 10,000 people for a “prayer walk” in the seven critical states that helped Trump win in November 2016. Men and women walked around courthouses or through towns praying for righteousness to prevail. “It was an urgent, Pentecostal type of prayer,” Jacobs told Strang. This was not just another election, but a battle for the soul of America, and Jacobs’ warriors were engaged in those battles, praying that God’s will would reign in America once again. She received calls from friends in Europe, China and Latin America, who said they were fasting and praying fervently that Trump would be elected. The reason? Conservative Christians believed that if Hillary Clinton won this election it would be “game over” for religious freedom.
- Leading up to the 2016 election, evangelist Franklin Graham traveled to all 50 states, calling for a “Christian revolution” and asking believers to pray for the nation like never before, as the future of America hung in the balance. “I am not telling anyone who to vote for,” he had said in an open letter. “God can do that. But God’s people have a responsibility to pray for the nation and to vote. … The biggest impact this election will have on our nation will involve who the next president appoints to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. This will affect the course of America for decades to come.” On the night before the election, Graham prayed for the country during a Facebook Live event shared by an estimated 1.3 million people, once again calling for a Christian revolution and urging every participant to vote. In the 2012 election, 20 million to 30 million Christians stayed home, Graham said, and that made the critical difference. “We can’t let this happen again,” he added “The future of our nation is riding on this election: religious freedom, the Supreme Court, protecting the unborn and our families, and so much more. The Christian voice needs to be heard on November 8 (2016).”
- Without formally endorsing Trump, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, let Evangelicals know that it absolutely mattered who our president would be, saying that if men and women with no fear of God are allowed to rule over us, our very way of life will be at stake. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech and freedom of religion will be at stake. “It is silly to underestimate the power of the executive branch of government,” Wildmon had said. “Secular progressives are on the warpath against Christianity, and they will continue to come after us in many ways, should they win the White House. Yes, God cares about these things. America has been a beacon of light for the world in so many ways based on her Christian heritage.”
- Focus on the Family founder James Dobson urged Evangelicals to follow the path spelled out in 2 Chronicles 7:14, which says, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” That Old Testament promise has been adopted by Christians all over the world because it outlines a clear prescription for national renewal.
Set for release next week on Nov. 7, almost a year to the day from the 2016 presidential election, “God and Donald Trump,” which contains a foreword from presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, takes an incisive look at these and other factors that drove those conservative and Evangelical voters to the polls.
Strang is an award-winning journalist and successful businessman who began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. He later founded a Christian publishing house and media company while interviewing and writing about nearly every Christian leader in the country over the past four decades.
“God and Donald Trump” is published by Frontline, an imprint of Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 13 New York Times bestsellers.